If nothing is backing the dollar,  then  why is that gold in Fort
Or even, how do we *know* there is still gold in Fort Knox?
Look at the side edging of a dime or a quarter.  That  edging  is
more  than  just  decorative.   When the coin was made of silver,
that edging guaranteed that  unscrupulous  persons had not shaved
off silver from the coin; that  that  coin  contained  the  exact
measure  of  silver.  But why is that edging still on the side of
dimes and quarters?  No one  would  waste time shaving off copper
from those coins.
What exactly makes dimes and dollars worth anything?  What  gives
them  worth  is  that  people *believe* they have worth.  If $450
will buy you an ounce  of  gold,  then  $450 is worth an ounce of
gold.  If $125 will buy you a microwave oven, then $125 is  worth
one microwave oven.
Why do people believe the dollar has worth?  Because (ahem) it is
backed  by  the  UNITED  STATES GOVERNMENT.  So as long as people
believe in the United States government, they will believe in the
dollar.  But if they don't  believe  in the U.S. government, then
why believe in the dollar?
What backs the dollar?  *Belief*.  How is the dollar propped  up?
Belief in the United States government.
So  what  happens if belief in the U.S. government is threatened,
say, by  evidence  of  widespread  corruption?   That  means that
belief in the dollar is threatened.  (Of course,  the  corruption
in  government,  *in*  *itself*, threatens belief in the dollar.)
Remember how Larry Nichols got  the  phone call from "Wall Street
types?"  "Please, Mr. Nichols, don't go  public  with  that.   It
will hurt the dollar/yen ratio."
Instead  of  a  dollar  backed  by  gold  or  silver,  we  have a
"commodity dollar."  Paul  Bakewell,  in  *What  Are We Using For
Money?*, says that "the use of a composite group  of  commodities
at  a  specified  index point" is now the standard of value.  "By
that  composite  index  you  would  measure  the  value  of other
commodities; and the  value  of  paper  currency  would  also  be
measured  by that composite index, and as thus measured the paper
currency would vary in value, according to its purchasing power."
In other words, the dollar is  worth whatever it will buy.  If $1
will buy a Zippo lighter, then $1 is worth one Zippo lighter.
The  "relative  dollar"  arrived  in  the   1930s,   about   when
"postmodernism"  ("the truth is relative") came along.  But which
came first, postmodernism or the "relative dollar?"  Noam Chomsky
has said that political  power  tends to coalesce around economic
power.  Did elite "thought" coalesce around the "relative dollar"
and so give us postmodernism?
But Brian, what does  this  have  to  do  with  conspiracy?   The
strength  of  the  dollar  is  backed  by  *belief*  in  the U.S.
government.  So, the government  must  be perceived as godlike or
else the dollar's value diminishes.  To prop up the dollar,  news
of  government corruption, criminality and idiocy is played down.
You say there have been conspiracies?  Then you will be portrayed
as a "conspiracy nut,"  otherwise  truth would hurt confidence in
the  government  and  the  dollar  would   slide,   relative   to
One dollar equals one Zippo lighter.  We  supposedly  have  a  $4
trillion  national  debt.   Why  not manufacture 4 trillion Zippo
lighters and dump them all  into  the hands of our creditors?  We
could make them in secret then, out of  the  blue,  say,  "Here's
your  4  trillion.  We're even now."  Then, if the value of Zippo
lighters drops, explain sagaciously that "it's all relative."
Circa  1930s  began  the  consumer   society,   where   Americans
increasingly  are  in  a  rush to buy, buy, buy.  In other words,
they are anxious to trade paper  dollars for goods.  The trick is
to exchange the dollars for goods  likely  to  hold  or  increase
their  value  relative  to  the  dollar.  Do you spend money like
there's no tomorrow?  Deep  down  you vaguely understand that the
"relative dollar" you possess is not  stable  and  you  look  for
something to replace it, something more likely to hold its value.
Something big happened to this country in the 1930s, though it is
rarely covered in  standard  so-called history.  Your grandfather
had to turn in $20 of gold to Uncle Sam and got back $20 of paper
currency.  Decades later, you were allowed to buy back that gold,
but at a cost of about $450 in paper currency.  So what  happened
between  the $20 your grandfather turned in and the $450 you paid
to get it back?  $450 minus $20 equals $430.  Where did that $430
go?  It went *somewhere*.  Who got it?  Somebody did.